WHSRN announces three new international sites

The Western Hemisphere Shorebird Reserve Network (WHSRN)--a program administered by the Manomet Center for Conservation Sciences--has announced that three international sites in Argentina, Mexico and the state of Texas will join the international partnership dedicated to the conservation and protection of migratory shorebird species and their habitats.

The 20-year-old WHSRN--with 63 global partners in eight countries that comprise over 20 million acres--is the only group of its kind in the Western Hemisphere working to protect the hemisphere's 1-2 million migratory shorebirds. Each year, many shorebird species such as the Plover and Western Sandpiper make the annual 20,000-mile, roundtrip trek from Alaska to Argentina.

The new sites are: Rio Gallegos, Argentina--a large estuary with mud flats and marshes on the Rio Gallegos, owned by the municipality of Rio Gallegos on one shore and the Province of Santa Cruz on the other; Llano de la Soledad, Mexico--a grassland area owned jointly by a private rancher and by a uniquely Mexican structure called an Ejido--a communally-owned area with shared usage; and the Anahuac National Wildlife Refuge in the area of Houston, Texas that is managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

"We are delighted to welcome these three important but very different sites to the WHSRN network, and we congratulate the landowners for their commitment to voluntary cooperative conservation," said Charles Duncan, WHSRN executive office director.

Key highlights of the new WHSRN site initiatives include:

Rio Gallegos, Argentina

The municipality of Rio Gallegos with a population of 80,000 is located in Patagonia, a sparsely-populated area the size of Texas and California combined. The estuary at the mouth of the river attracts a number of North American species including the Red Knot and a locally-occurring bird called the Magellanic Plover which has a world population smaller than 2,000 birds.

Contact: Jim Elder
Manomet Center for Conservation Sciences

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